It’s common to decline receipts now we get digital copies. Charles Hanson (auctioneer and a regular on BBC’s Bargain Hunt) found an antique handwritten receipt in a chest of drawers.
Commenting on the find, Charles Hanson said, ‘on opening the drawer of an old walnut chest, which dated to the early 18th century, under the lining at the back we uncovered a receipt for a stay at The Vine Hotel in Stafford, dated January 23rd 1767.’
‘It really is remarkable. Since the receipt although badly worn, is still very clear – on the evening of January 23rd, two suppers were enjoyed for a shilling along with two breakfasts for eight old pence, ale was consumed at four shillings and tuppence, horses’ hay at two shillings and eight old pence, corn at two shillings and eight old pence, and servants at a shilling. This overnight stay, which in modern days might be seen as bed and breakfast including dinner, with fuel for the horses, came to a grand total of twelve shillings and tuppence.’
This nearly 250-year-old receipt, written on plain paper and folded up, written 7 years into the reign of mad King George III, and 22 years before the French Revolution. A full 60 years before Queen Victoria came to the throne.
The Vine Hotel on Salter Street is still standing, and is in fact the oldest pub in Stafford. ‘Tucked away down a narrow side street, The Vine’, commented Mr Hanson, ‘would have entertained guests and coaches passing through Stafford.’
‘As an auctioneer, I often ask our clients to check drawers, and following a recent large find of gold sovereigns in a piano, we always check furniture to ensure that nothing has been left following a house clearance!’
This bill will be sold in the Fine Art and Antiques Auction, 29th June to 1st July. The guide price is £20 – £30. ‘In some respects’, commented Mr Hanson, ‘we really hope it goes home, and perhaps the Vine Hotel in Stafford may just acquire this old bill.’
Hansons offer free valuation days in Lichfield and Stoke-on-Trent, and can also undertake house clearances, providing free quotations on request. For any enquiries, contact Charles Hanson on 01283 733988, 07725 514855, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.